After qualifying from the preliminaries, team Liberia on Sunday, March 17, bagged home its first goal medal at the 2019 Special Olympic World Games through 20-year-old Ehiabom Salim Assaf, at the world event being held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Despite Liberia being a debutant in at the world sporting event, athlete Ehiabom Salim Assaf, who finished first within 31.71 seconds in the 200-meter race during the preliminaries, did better in the main event after he finished first within 28.86 seconds in the 200-meter final at the Dubai Police Officers Club Stadium.
Assaf finished ahead of Silver medalist Darius Branden (16yrs) of Antigua & Barbuda, an independent Commonwealth country comprising its 2 namesake islands, who finished within 29.14 seconds and Bronze medalist Dinguemnatal Nonkilao (20 yrs) of Chad, who finished within 31.05 seconds.
Assaf is expected to return to the track on Tuesday, March 19, for his second race, this time around in the 100-meter at the same venue.
Meanwhile, one of Liberia’s other representatives, Hassatous Odell Duah, 16-year-old female, will be looking to collect Liberia’s second Gold today, March 18, when she competes in the female category of 100-meter race against Mampotseng Maria Majara (18yrs) of Lesotho and April Luhk(15yrs) of Micronesia, a country spread across the western Pacific Ocean comprising more than 600 islands.
Liberia’s third athlete, Samuel Smith, age 31, will compete in the adult category of the 100-meter race on Tuesday, March 19. He will compete against Joseph Howe, age 25, of Marshall Islands, a sprawling chain of volcanic islands in the central Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and the Philippines, Iraham Ahmed, age 26, of Comoros, and Mohsen Mohammed, 29, of Yemen.
The Special Olympic World Games is a multi-sport event for athletes with intellectual disabilities in the tradition of the Special Olympics movement.
Over half a million people including athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers and delegates from over 194 countries are currently Abu Dhabi, UAE for the world sporting event.